As fun as jumping up and down on your Samsonite carry-on sounds to get it to close (read: zero percent if you’re over the age of 5), respite exists – there is an easier way. Yes, it involves military precision, harsh editing skills (did you really need a poncho for Thailand?) and a little bit of hand-holding, but a streamlined, functional packing situation is easy with a bit of pre-planning… and potentially a glass of wine in hand.
Step 1: It all begins with the edit.
Think of the where/why/how – what are you actually going to be doing? Cocktails and lounging by the pool? Or hanging from a zipliner with the option of a fancy dinner here or there?
Breaking down your itinerary into outfits eliminates the chance of anything sneaking into your packing pile for no apparent reason. Start collating 2-3 days out to avoid a ‘panic pack’ – you need time to mull it over. Avoid fabrics that don’t travel well (i.e. linen) in favour of pieces you can pull out and go – plus, packing with outfits in mind doesn’t hurt either.
If it doesn’t multitask or have the potential to layer, leave it at home. The same applies for accessories; think climate first, activities second. For example: yes, that Gucci clutch is amazing, however not ideal for hiking or on a jetski. Even if it has a chain strap.
Step 2: It’s all about the fold.
The rolling technique (for the uninitiated: How to Roll Clothes) is great for longer trips (say, over a fortnight) where space is crucial, but for shorter numbers make like a Ralph Lauren staffer and square everything off neatly.
Stellar folding skills from the outset is a huge dodge from ironing on arrival – however, should you get stuck in a time bind, hang them in the bathroom with the shower on as hot as it will go for 5 minutes and let the steam get the creases out.
Eagle Creek’s packing cubes are a lifesaver for non-cooperative fabrics –– the Pack-It Specter Folder minimises wrinkles and comes with a folding instruction board if you’re more of a ‘throw it in a ball and run’ type of packer.
Step 3: Grouping.
Packing a neat little pile of evening dresses on top of gym clothes on top of swimwear is only going to cause mess and potentially tears in a rush, so let’s plan ahead and avoid any holiday tantrums.
Start by collating your active wear/swim, underwear/socks/accessories, dresses/tops/lighter pieces, and any heavier items (pants, blazers, denim) all together so it makes for quick searching. Again, try the packing cubes for super-fast suitcase streamlining – they even do a ‘Clean/Dirty’ version so you’re not pulling out that stained white t-shirt to wear for the 80th time.
For your jewels, a leather or plastic wrap bag is a great investment to avoid spending two hours by the pool untangling all your necklaces (not fun – trust me), or fold your pieces in tissue paper and pop them in a zip lock bag separately (this should live in your carry-on).
Finally, if you’ve shopped up an accessory storm and need to protect any delicate items, a hotel shower cap makes for a great dust bag in a pinch.
Your Suitcase’s Little Helpers…
For your jewels:
Kikki.K textured leather jewellery wrap, $14.98
To snuggle up en-route:
Banjo & Matilda heather grey travel blanket, $225, and eye mask, $100
For your devices:
Diane Von Furstenburg world travel adaptor and printed leather case, $112.56
For your in-flight toiletries:
Anya Hindmarch in-flight travel bag, $220
For everything but the kitchen sink:
Michael Kors Jet Set leather tote, $348
For travelling in style:
Rimowa Salsa Air navy suitcase, $770
Image: Instagram @chiaraferragni